Quebec justice system in the midst of ‘collapsing, say leading legal actors

The Quebec justice system is in the midst of “collapsing,” sagging under the weight of underfinancing and bedevilled by a “catastrophic” shortage of court personnel, with more than 20 per cent of employees resigning in a year, prompting leading legal actors to describe the situation as “embarrassing” and even more alarmingly, kindling a public lack of confidence in the province’s justice system.

The situation has never been so dire, worse than late this spring when a vexed legal community warned the Quebec government that the justice system, mired in a series of crippling labour standoffs that spurred mounting adjournments, was desperately in need of more funds to prop up the justice system. But while tense labour relations with a host of legal actors have subsided since the fall thanks to new collective agreements and a new legal aid accord, legal pundits assert far more has to be done to halt the exodus of courtroom personnel who are leaving in droves because remuneration is simply not competitive.

“There is a crisis in the justice system that has led to a crisis of confidence,” noted Catherine Claveau, president of the Quebec Bar. “And I, as the president of a professional order whose primary mission is the protection of the public, when the situation of underfunding in particular means that our institutions are undermining the right of citizens to have access to effective and quality justice, well for me, this corresponds to a real crisis.”

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This story was originally published in The Lawyer’s Daily.

One Reply to “Quebec justice system in the midst of ‘collapsing, say leading legal actors”

  1. It might interest those concerned about this situation to learn that Canada’s Chief Justice, Richard Wagner and the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, Marc Giroux, were among the participants identified on this programme – – for a conference held in Helsinki in October.

    One reason this interests me is that I had learned that at one time there was a Canadian organization called the Association of Canadian Court Administrators, which presumably was a voice for the interests of courthouse employees. What happened to this organization? I have been unable to find out. Some information I have found relating to the International Association for Court Administration suggests that such organizations do exist in some other countries, including the U.S.

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